Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum has hailed the impact Kyrie Irving has had on him during his rookie season.
The 19-year-old has excelled since deciding to forego his final three years of college to have a crack at the NBA, quickly establishing himself as a key man in Brad Stevens’ team.
His drafting to the Celtics was somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of Irving, with the 25-year-old’s switch from Cleveland Cavaliers one of the sagas of the off-season.
It appears the trouble was worth it though and the point guard has shone as the Celtics have risen to the top of the Eastern Conference.
Their current four-game winning streak has brought them into 3.50 to top the Conference, although the Cavs remain the 1.67 favourites.
Small forward Tatum is undoubtedly enjoying his first season in the big time and it appears his decision to leave Duke early is paying off.
Irving’s influence has clearly been huge and the youngster admits his colleague seems to have the game locked down.
Tatum says he has learned plenty from the four-time All-Star and has hailed the influence he has had at TD Garden since his off-season arrival. “He’s a great person,” he said.
“He’s a great team-mate. He’s always working and leads by example.
“Any questions that we have, especially younger guys, he’s always willing to help and show us things and just talk us through film or anything like that. “So he’s just an all-around great team-mate.”